September 27, 2017

Preparing for The Vision

Preparing for the Vision is not a religious happening, but just normal preparations for 3 back to back cruises on the Vision of The Seas departing October 1 from Bayonne, NJ.

It has been almost 2 years since I have updated my "must take" list, or what most people would just call a packing list. The past several days I have been going over it very carefully eliminating a few things that I just don't need to take, and adding a few more that I have found to be necessary. In reality if I am only going for 7 days, and often for 14, I don't even bother using my list, but anything longer it is better that I do. Being the type of person that I am, my list now not only includes what to take, but is organized by how I take it. In my carry on, in my shower kit, In my computer bag, etc.

Since I need to fly and take shuttle buses to and from the pier at each end of this trip I do need to be more conscious about how much luggage I carry. Counter to this effort, temperatures are likely to be in the upper 90's in the ABC islands, and near of below freezing in Northern Maine, Canada, and Mt Washington, NH one of my excursion destinations. Don't try to buy an insulated thermal jacket in Florida in September, thank goodness we can purchase just about anything online and have it delivered to our home in a few days.

When I first looked at this itinerary in December of last year I was thinking of starting the journey in Quebec City and ending in Galveston. A quick look for acceptable flights, and I soon realized I could add the extra 10 days for little additional cost over what the difference in flights would cost between flying from Orlando to Quebec City, and Flying instead to Newark. Of course that determination was made on a particular day, who knows what airline tickets would be a few days later.

Just over 50 years ago I lived in Vermont, and during the fall season the fall colors in New England can be beautiful. It is my hope that I will be catching the change of the seasons at some point on this journey. There are never any guarantees with mother nature, the weather is fickle, and the leaves may change from green to brown and fall to the ground in a matter of just a few days. If I am lucky the countryside will be a rainbow of reds, yellows, and oranges. Time will tell.

The first leg takes me from Bayonne, NJ, North up the New England coast with stops in Portland, Rockland, and Bar Harbor, ME; Halifax and Sydney, NS; Corner Brook, NF; ending with an over night stay in Quebec City. On the return trip we stop at many of the same ports with additional stops in Saint John, NB, Boston, MA and Newport, RI. After disembarking and embarking many new passengers in Bayonne we head to Bermuda, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Progresso with the trip terminating in Galveston, TX. At the moment, I believe all of these ports escaped the wrath of Hurricane Irma a few weeks ago, something that can not be said for many of the Island destinations in the Eastern Caribbean. Galveston was hard hit by Harvey, but the port reopened after about a week.

For the train enthusiasts, I have found a couple of trains that I expect to ride. More about those after the fact. Our itinerary is always subject to change. As always I will post pictures after my return.